6 Ways Recent Grads Can Put Their Twitter to Work by Jerry Rizzo

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A lot of recent graduates, including myself, have began or are going to begin the long awaited post college job search.  Some may have put in the leg work throughout the year by interning, attending multiple career fairs and networking to reach their employment goals.  Others may not have been so in touch with the reality that is life after college and now find themselves feeling stuck, frantically job searching the classifieds, Craigslist and alumni directories.  While these are all practical resources for landing your first gig, there may be one avenue you haven’t considered that could make all the difference.  This avenue is the popular social media site Twitter.

I feel some often limit Twitter’s capability and function to quelling their “Beiber Fever” or carrying on with Ochocinco’s antics.  When you are able to work your way past the celeb and news content their is an incredible network to be had for recent grads in almost every field of study.

I was never fond of dropping my resume into a pile of hundreds of other resumes at career fairs or responding to jobs that were mass advertised to the entire college of communications.  I have always viewed these methods of catching an employers attention as “crap chutes”.  I believe in creating contacts and Twitter has done just that for me.  Over the last 6 months I have been able to create, what I consider to be, an invaluable network of professionals that are willing to answer questions, give advice and even recommend employment opportunities to me.

Alright, enough about me.  I want to tell you how you can take advantage and make Twitter work for you in your job search.

1. You are what you Tweet!

Get your Tweet game on par with pros in your industry.  Make sure you are participating in relevant industry or field dialogue.  This doesn’t mean you can’t shout out your buddies every so often, but your content should exude a little bit of passion for your career ambitions. Stay current and tweet it!

2. The power of the #

The Twitter hashtag (#) is a way for others with your interests to follow you.  Make sure you use a # on words relevant in your field. For instance, if you’re a recent advertising grad make sure you #Advertising or #Ad or #AdJobs.  The hashtag will help you grow your network by attracting others like you to follow.

3. Research and follow your future employer.

Before following every person in your respective field of study you need to do some research.  Ask your self “What do I want to do?” and “Where do I want to do it?”.  Now you have narrowed your search to your type of employer and a geographic location.  Search Google for suitable employers in the area (ex. Marketing Communications in Chicago).  Once you’ve got about 10 employers, search for them and follow their Twitter account.  I venture as far as following a few employees of the company as well (great resources!)

4. Get their attention, but don’t be a pest!

Feel free to send a message @ their account once you’ve followed.  If you have an e-portfolio of some sort definitely encourage them to take a look. Perhaps politely encourage them to follow you back. If you receive no response, don’t sweat it.  Sometimes company accounts are less active than personal accounts, but this isn’t your green light to spam them with desperation cries for opportunities.  Be patient and be considerate.

5. Follow back and DMs

If an employer or employee follows you back you are now able to direct message (DM) them.  Send them a short message expressing your interest, goals and even maybe request a little advice.  Your challenge is to be effective in 140 characters or less.

6. MOST IMPORTANT: BE POLITE!

These are established professionals taking time out to respond to you, so the least you can do is send a thank you.  Kindness can make the difference.  People don’t like to assist unkind people, so it’s in your best interest to acknowledge anyone who is even giving you a glance.

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